Pull out all the stops to fight mosquito breeding

A pest-control officer carrying out misting in the premises of Eastvale Condominium on Aug 5, 2019.
A pest-control officer carrying out misting in the premises of Eastvale Condominium on Aug 5, 2019. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

I read with deep concern about the unrelenting surge of dengue cases (Over 9,000 dengue cases reported so far this year, Aug 6).

Nine people have died of dengue so far (Four more dengue deaths, taking toll to nine this year, July 30). And as of last Friday, there were still 190 active dengue clusters islandwide.

Every conceivable action has been taken by the National Environment Agency, yet the number keeps soaring. Are we missing something?

If Project Wolbachia, which involves the release of sterile male mosquitoes leading to mosquito eggs that cannot hatch, has achieved up to 90 per cent suppression of the urban Aedes aegypti mosquito population at study sites, why is it still being kept in the experimental stage?

Surely now is the time to pull out all the stops.

Due to the greening of our island, we have plenty of fallen leaves, which we should look at as potential mosquito breeding habitats, as they can hold a coin-sized amount of water, which we are told is enough for mosquito breeding.

In the rainy season, water may collect on these leaves. And even when it doesn't rain, water can still collect there when the plants are watered.

The entire life cycle from egg to adult mosquito takes eight to 10 days.

Even if fallen leaves cannot always be removed expeditiously, these minute collection points should at least be disrupted regularly with the use of leaf blowers and other means.

Kevin Ho Kun Kok

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2019, with the headline 'Pull out all the stops to fight mosquito breeding'. Print Edition | Subscribe